So Green He's Growing Leaves
Posted on Sun Jan 20th, 2019 @ 11:25pm by Crewman Apprentice Jovani Carter & Captain Charlotte Reynolds & Lieutenant Commander Maralen Seitha & Lieutenant Elias Lindholm & Master Chief Petty Officer Amelia Redgrave
Episode 3: Foxes and Henhouses
Location: USS Defiant
Timeline: Prior to I Have a Bad Idea
Arriving at Arcadia Jovani found himself materializing on the transporter pad of one of the most awe inspiring places he'd ever been in his few years of life. Scratch that, it was they most awe inspiring. He wandered around for a while, killing time before his meeting was scheduled with the people that would be in charge of him for the foreseeable future. Stopping at a small snack stand he grabbed a bag of homemade cookies, and munched on them as he walked.
He was just about to head off to the Defiant when he saw a sports boutique. He wasn't sure what had caught his eye, but he made his way in, and then it caught his eye again. Up on a high shelf was the coolest basketball he'd ever seen. It was silver and navy blue, and had the emblem of Task Force 47 emblazoned on it. With a big grin he purchased it, and then wondered how he was going to look arriving to his meeting carrying a basketball. Walking back out into the wide promenade of the shopping district he turned to make his way to the ship. He looked down at the basketball at just the wrong time and ended up walking straight into one of the live trees planted along the way for decoration. Reaching up he rubbed his now aching scalp, but somehow missed the fact that a single bright green leaf had become lodged in the tight curls of his hair. As he walked he checked the time, just in case, and still didn't have time to make a pit stop at his bunk.
Choosing to just not worry about the ball he made his way across the station, and through the docking port onto the Defiant. He checked the padd he'd been carrying around and saw that he was supposed to meet them in the tactical offices, three decks down. He looked around and spotted a turbolift, and boarded it. Seconds later he was standing just outside the tactical offices. Up until that point he'd been able to deny to himself that he was incredibly nervous. Now, however, he felt the sweat break out on his forehead and on his palms. In his belly an entire kaleidoscope of butterflies had suddenly taken flight. With a deep breath he tried to calm himself, mentally kicked himself once again for buying the basketball he still had resting against his right hip, and decided there was nothing he could do now but go ahead and go in.
Stepping forward the doors swished open and let him in. On the other side of the doors he saw the large area that was given over to the security and tactical offices, the armory, and the weapons practice range. Off to one side he saw the Tactical office, and with another deep breath he walked towards it and pressed the button to announce that he was there.
Elias sat at his desk and looked over the personnel rosters. Chief Crocker, the Chief Security NCO, stood to Elias's right as they looked through the rosters. Also present in the room was Captain Reynolds, who stood leaned against the wall behind Crocker, and First Officer Maralen, on Elias' right. As the door chime sounded, Elias looked up at the door. He had a PADD which contained the service record of his new crewman infront of him. "Enter," Elias said as the doors parted.
As the doors parted Jovani walked into the office and glanced around, somewhat nervously to the people assembled. "Crewman Apprentice Jovani Carter reporting for duty.", he said, not even sure who he should be addressing with this many senior officers in the room.
Elias took a look at the rather disheveled man who stood in front of him. He noticed the leaf in his hair and the basketball he was holding against his hip. Elias found this rather amusing, he was once a fresh Crewman Apprentice as well. He let a slight smile come to his face, "At ease Crewman, first time aboard ship is always nerve wracking, however i think you have the wrong ship. The Globetrotters serve on the Adriatic." Elias nodded towards the basketball. He then looked up at Chief Crocker, "I guess, we will have the leg up this year in the inter-ship basketball tournament, Chief."
Crocker snorted. "We're going to need a lot more than one tall guy if we plan to win anything. But it's a start." The NCO chuckled at his own humor a little before catching himself.
"Well, I'll be rooting for you anyway." The captain gestured toward one of the open seats. "Welcome aboard, Mr. Carter. You can plant yourself in that chair," Charlotte said, with an amused smile on her face.
Giving the captain a confused look Jovani moved to fold his lanky frame into the chair, as always making his knees stick up and out at an odd angle. "Thank you.", he replied.
“We’re glad you decided to come to Defiant, Mr. Carter. I know it can be difficult anytime a cadet leaves the Academy,” she coughed over what may have been a snicker. “But it’s a great opportunity to branch out and grow. With the right preening, I’m sure you’ll blossom into an excellent security officer. Many a young sapling...”
She failed to hide the laugh that time, dropping her attempt to stay composed and laughing openly. “I’m so sorry, Crewman. I couldn’t help myself. You’ll have to forgive me. I don’t mean to make fun of you. You’ve just got...” she walked over and plucked the leaves from his hair. And setting it in the waste bin.
Jovani looked up with a mortified look on his face as his pale brown skin blushed to a ruddy glow and his eyes went wide. "Oh, god..." he mumbled. "I am so sorry for showing up in that state. I had no idea. I thought I got everything out of my hair after I walked into that tree...", he added, his voice fading away in embarrassment.
Charlotte laughed, but not in a derogatory way. She patted him on the shoulder. "Don't worry about it. We've all been there. And entertaining your captain for a minute or two isn't a terrible thing." She looked at Elias. "So Crewman, it looks like we’re literally your first posting after the Academy. So first of all, congratulations on your graduation. And second, I’m curios how extensive your ship based training was. Answer freely. I’m not going to interrogate you or anything.”
“That’ll be my job,” said a dark haired woman, entering from behind him. “Sorry, Captain. Docking checks took longer than expected.” Amelia Redgrave leaned against the doorway. “I’m kidding though. Please go on.”
Jovani looked a bit uncomfortable as he reflected on the proper answer to give. "Well, ma'am, to be honest I've had some simulator time, but I've not had any true shipboard training...", he replied. " But I did do well in the training school, and I aced the battle sims, if that counts for anything.", he said, a trace of pride slipping into his voice.
Elias motioned to the young woman who had entered the office, “Crewman Carter, this is Petty Officer 1st Class Redgrave. She will be your team leader while your with us aboard Defiant. She will be your best source of information to connect the pieces of the puzzle they gave you in boot camp. Now, while the Defiant is an exploration vessel, I run a tight department here. We need to always be ready to face whatever we happen to run across out here. While we have a standard watch schedule, there are also training times incorporated into the shifts. The only way to perfect our skills is to train and turn our skills into instincts.”
Jovani nodded along. He was very new to all this, but everything the man was saying made perfect sense. "I will definitely be ready, and willing to do everything I can to make this team a success. This is my first posting, so I know you probably have your doubts, but I'm a quick study, and I've got the drive. Oh, and I'm pretty good on the court too.", he said with a smile, alluding back to the comments about the basketball team, " And not just because of my height.", he finished.
“If you’ve got the drive, you’re ahead of the curve,” Amelia said. “Half the battle is staying alert and in shape.” Amelia herself bordered on hyper vigilance, and she was no slouch in the gym either.
Charlotte laughed. “The court doesn’t matter to me too much, though I know some have gotten very into the competition. I just want to make sure that you’re ready to do what you need to keep us, and more importantly, yourself safe.” She looked over his file. “Alright, so you’ve got zero g training, multiple terrain training...” She looked up. “I imagine the answer is no, but ever seen live combat?”
"No, ma'am. Simulated only. I'm about as green as they come, but I'm a fast learner, and I learn best on my feet, so I will definitely do everything I can to ensure I live up to those expectations.", Jovani replied. "And if you ever want to put my skills to the test for yourself I'm always more than up for some sparring.", he added, with an innocent smile.
Amelia laughed. “Fair warning: She might take you up on that. Captain’s tougher than she looks.” Amelia caught herself. “No offense ma’am. You look very tough.”
Charlotte just wore an amused smile. “We’ll see about the sparring. But unfortunately, there’s a good chance you’ll need to put those skills to use sooner than you’d think. I’ll have you read in after this meeting.” Charlotte’s face looked more serious than it had a moment ago. Joining security right now was like walking into a firestorm. “And you’ll have myself, Lieutenant Lindholm, and the rest of the Sec/Tac staff to rely on. On the other side of the spectrum, I imagine you have tactical training as well. Any experience manning the tactical terminal for a shuttle or larger vessel?”
Jovani's face brightened at this question, as he realized he'd finally be able to give her an answer that wasn't going to make him seem like some completely untested new boot. "Yes, ma'am. During my last semester at STSA we were sent out on an old beat up ship and put through various drills, and given an ability to man the stations we would be performing our duties in on a daily basis.", he replied. "During that time I logged about four months on the ship, and I served in all three shifts in various roles as a sec/tac officer, so I've also got experience in the security department and the various roles they take on as well.", he added.
The Captain smiled in response. “Good! We can use a little more experience at the tactical suite. If Lt. Lindholm is off duty or indisposed, it’s good to have people to fall back on. I’m also going to make sure you’re part of the shift rotation so you’ll have duty at the terminal itself. That way, if it ever comes up, you’ll be more than familiar with it.”
"That sounds great to me!", Jovani said, excited at the prospect of getting some time on the bridge. He'd honestly expected to be stuck down in the sec/tac department for a good long while before he'd ever get that option. "And I'm always more than happy to sub in for security as well. I would love to get more experience in that department as well. But only if you'd be okay with that.", he added.
“Unfortunately, I think you’ll be getting that experience regardless of your interest level.” She got to her feet and headed toward the door, patting his shoulder sympathetically on the way. “I apologize, but I need to attend to boarding duties. Welcome aboard, Mr. Carter. We’re glad to have you with us.”
Standing after her hand left his shoulder Jovani made a passable attempt at standing at attention. "Yes, ma'am. Thank you ma'am.", he replied. Once she was gone he turned back to the others in the room to see what else they'd add.